Barreado is a type of stew cooked in a clay pot and sealed with dough. It’s famous in the small Brazilian town of Morretes, and was originally created as an easy source of energy for carnival revellers who partied throughout the night. Nowadays, people travel to Morretes via the Serra Verde Express – a spectacular railway that connects Paraná’s capital to the coast – to marvel at the enchanting scenery and sample the famous barreado.
- 1 kg beef (see Note), cubed
- 100 g bacon, cut into thin strips
- 3 onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 bunch chives, roughly chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 500 g plain or cassava flour, plus extra to serve
- chopped banana, to serve
- chilli sauce, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a clay pot (see Note), arrange beef, bacon, onion, garlic, cumin, chives and bay leaves in alternating layers. Season with salt.
To make a dough to seal the pot, combine flour with enough water (approximately 350 ml) to make a firm dough. Spread dough around the rim of the pot.
Cook over low heat, preferably on a woodfired stove, for 8 hours or until beef is tender.
To serve, place an extra handful of flour in a large dish. Add stew and stir until creamy. Serve with banana and chilli sauce.
• You can use any cut of stewing beef you like for this recipe – osso bucco is a great choice.
• Instead of a clay pot, you may use a slow cooker.